2019 年 2019 巻 38 号 p. 3-23
This paper will explore the worldwide popularization of the practice of natural/green funeral by focusing on a case study of “natural burial” in the United Kingdom. Recently, some countries have provided alternative natural burial sites, for example, the United Kingdom, Germany, North America, South Korea, and Japan. Although most Western countries seem to be inspired by the United Kingdom’s practices, the unique feature of Japan’s “tree burial” practice is that its origin is not related to Western contexts. Therefore, it is important to consider how such natural options have acquired global significance among different societies. Some scholars insist that this phenomenon results from a global concern for environmental problems. For example, D. J. Davies (2005) argues that it is an outcome of environmental concerns and the decline of traditional religions in postmodern societies. However, although such discussions are important, we also have to focus on the individual context in each case to avoid simple reductionism. Accordingly, I reveal specific social contexts pertaining to the British natural burial practice. In addition, these remarks are comparable with Japanese tree burial and so that will make it clear how these different countries are in sharp contrast.